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April 20, 2021

Take a minute and think about some of the most successful people you know. They are often great with people, super-productive, and think differently than most. After all, that’s how they got to be where they are today.

Research shows that more than 1 in 5 new businesses fail within the first year, you want to make sure that you’ve done all you can to set yourself up for success. That includes lots of market research, of course, but also spending time understanding small business survival strategies from the “been there, done that” crowd.

Talk to entrepreneurs you know, hit up some blogs, but also, spend some time with a few good old-fashioned business reads. School yourself on some key lessons in entrepreneurship with this list of the best books for starting a business.

 

 

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

 Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book that helped to launch a personal growth empire should be required reading for everyone who wants to learn how to build and nurture relationships for a lifetime.

 Read this book and you’ll learn some simple advice that can help you build popularity points within your current network and just as important, expand it to others.

 


  1. Will it Fly by Pat Flynn

 Pat Flynn has made a name for himself as an online passive income guru and he's considered a thought leader when it comes to the entrepreneurial lifestyle. In "Will It Fly?", he offers practical, real-world advice on how to test out business ideas before you get started to make sure they're feasible, realistic, and have profit potential.

 The book walks readers through five different steps: making sure your business idea aligns with your goals; analyzing details about your idea you may not have thought of; assessing the market for your business idea; testing your idea; and finally, determining whether to move ahead with your idea or send it back to the drawing board.

 It's a good choice for anyone who thinks they may have a great concept for a business but wants a little more validation before they sink their time, money, and effort into developing it.

 


  1. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

 Creating a “me-too” product can be easy at the start but can doom you to business failure. That’s why marketing maverick Seth Godin recommends creating a product that is truly different from anything already available in the marketplace.

 In essence, by making the product different you’ll be building the marketing into the actual product development…which just makes your actual marketing a helluva lot easier.

 


  1. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

 If you’ve struggled with procrastination or small thinking, this is the book for you. In it, Schwartz offers practical advice that can help you get inspired and motivated to create a bigger life for yourself. And with it can be a more lucrative and rewarding career.

 


  1. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

 Figuring out the financial side of starting and running a business can be one of the biggest challenges for new entrepreneurs. You want your business to make money but you also have to understand the mechanics of how to invest for growth and what to do with the money you're earning once it starts rolling in.

 Those are some of the things Mike Michalowicz covers in "Profit First". His book is designed to help you increase profitability in your business, regardless of where you are in its life cycle, and maintain positive cash flow so you can avoid the money struggles that are often common to new businesses.

 He breaks it all down with a simple formula for managing the financial side of running a business in a way that's easy to understand even if you're not an accountant. It's one to read if you want to put a solid foundation for handling cash flow in place from day one.

 


  1. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

 Solo-entrepreneurs can learn a ton from the guy who made lifestyle design popular. But guess what? The 4HWW isn’t just for guys and girls who want to start a small online business.

 Smart moves like outsourcing, following the 80/20 rule, and automating processes should be made by entry-level workers and established executives alike.

 


  1. Zero to One by Peter Thiel

 Launching a startup is a different animal compared to launching a small business solo. You may have employees or investors to manage, for instance, or your initial costs to open up your doors may be much higher.

 It's a lot to juggle and the startups that can't pull it off successfully are often the ones who inevitably close up shop. "Zero to One" offers advice on how to avoid that scenario.

 PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel drills down to the qualities that are required to run a thriving startup in today's business environment. One of the points he underscores is how to use creative innovation to establish a footing in the market, without triggering disruption that could threaten your business's staying power.

 

 

  1. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

 Before you can start any business you first have to figure out how much you'll need for startup costs to get it off the ground. If you don't have a huge budget to work with, don't panic. Becoming an entrepreneur can still be within reach.

 In "The $100 Startup", author Chris Guillebeau examines 50 case studies of entrepreneurs who successfully started a business with very little money. He dissects each one to identify the most important factors that allowed them to be successful (hint: it wasn't having a ton of money to invest in their businesses.)

 This book is all about leveraging your expertise and what you're passionate about to create a profitable business. It's a great read if you've been wanting to start a business but you've let lack of funding stand in the way.


 

  1. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

Sometimes, starting a business can be a one-person show. If you're planning to strike out on your own as a freelancer, for example, hiring employees may not be on your radar. But if you're starting your business with a team or you think you'll need to build one at some point, it's helpful to understand the qualities that make for a great leader.

That's what Simon Sinek focuses on in "Leaders Eat Last." Specifically, he discusses how leaders can instill trust among team members and why that's important for driving motivation and improving performance.

The book features a casual, conversational style that's a refreshing take on what it means to lead effectively. Overall, it's a highly relatable read on why being able to work together matters and you'll take away some actionable insights on how to fine-tune and strengthen your leadership skills.

 

  1. The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar

The story Randy Komisar shares in The Monk and the Riddle offers advice about not just about how you need to think when starting a new business, but also about how to build a life you’re passionate about.

Understanding the technical aspects of launching a start-up is great, but if you don’t have the staying power to stick with it when the going gets tough then it’s not likely to work.

This book can help you understand this lesson before you spend blood, sweat and tears on a project that you’re heart aren’t into.